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On the maternal branch, I am a descendant of the Kutuzovs along one line, and the Golenishchev-Kutuzovs along the other. Mikhail Illarionovich Golenishchev-Kutuzov is also a relative, but very distant, seven-cousin.
As a child, my mother told me that her grandfather was shot for his noble birth in 1937. When I matured to find out the story of my family, those who could tell about it were no longer alive. I made a request to the FSB about the repressed grandfather, after which five years followed a fanatical search for any information, any clues regarding my ancestors, work in the Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts (RGADA), the Russian State Historical Archive (RGIA), the archives of the Tver and Novgorod regions, in various libraries of Moscow. The tiny family tree, which existed at the beginning, expanded and went back centuries. It got to the point that two years later I turned to the printing house with a request to print the resulting tree. I printed it in a format one and a half and a half meters, and even in this size all blood relatives did not fit there.
But now I found a bunch of distant relatives, ranging from second cousins to sixteen-cousins, with whom I am happy to keep in touch. Now the tree has increased approximately twice more, so I think if I go to the printing house again, they will shoot me right on the spot. In some lines, I was able to trace my pedigree to Rurik, and this is more than 40 tribes.
Along some lines I managed trace his pedigree to Rurik, and this is more than 40 knees
I live in Odintsovo, I work in Moscow, in a CRM agency. Hobbies? Yes, anything! I am a very curious person: history, genealogy, psychology, sport in all its diversity, reading any kind of literature - from fiction to motivating books. And I also love to travel and bring tons of emotions, impressions and photos from trips. I am proud of the fact that I am a descendant of people who left a mark in the history of the country, and do not hide it. I hope the ancestors do not burn with shame.
As a child, when I was sick, my mother allowed me to look at a thick old book on which our surname was written in Latin letters. My grandfather, a famous scientist, academician Pyotr Aleksandrovich Rebinder, brought this book from Sweden. Unfortunately, it was in Swedish, so I couldn’t understand the text, but I liked the “pictures” - black and white photographs depicting old portraits, lands and real castles that belonged to different branches of the Rebinder clan in Sweden. I knew that some of them were barons, and other counts and barons were “ours,” as my mother said. Sweden seemed to me a fabulous distant country. Later, friends translated this book for us. It is called "Eight Centuries of the Rebinder Family" and was published in Oslo in 1925 by the Swedish Rebinder. He writes there: "As far as I know, there are no living Rebinders left in Russia," but he is mistaken. From this book I now know the story of my family.
Rebinders come from Westphalia, and this last name translates as “the one who binds the roe deer,” that is, the roe deer, because the killed animal was carried tied to a stick. Apparently, my ancestors were good hunters. The baronial title was bestowed upon them by the king of Sweden. They were close to the Swedish kings and married aristocrats from ancient Swedish families. The Rebinders came to Russia during the Northern War, when my ancestor Karl Reinhold Rebinder was captured by the Russians.
After the armistice, Peter I suggested that the captive aristocrats stay in Russia, and Rebinder took advantage of this offer and moved his wife and children. For the first few generations, children in the family were still given Swedish names, but then the Rebinder became Russified.
After the revolution, my grandfather's large family was waiting for almost complete extermination: someone died in the White Army, someone was shot. My grandfather remembered for life the day when he, a fourteen-year-old, was nearly shot by the Reds, breaking into the train in which his family was traveling. But he was defended by a senior cousin, a white officer, who was shot right in front of his family. Grandfather then kept all his life the only thing left from him - a handkerchief.
I wanted to say that I'm the cousin of their ghosts but decided not to scare her
In difficult moments I think about these people. One of my ancestors was a Narodnik, one was a Decembrist, the other, on the contrary, died, defending the emperor’s power from the Decembrists. Which of them was right, which was not, history has not judged so far. But they are united by the fact that they defended what they believed.
And from my grandmother's side, I also have an interesting family, but this is already the Russian nobility - the Zheltukhin nobles. The grandmother’s family owned a mansion in Bolshoi Afanasyevsky Lane, now it has a hairdresser. Once I decided to dye my hair there, and a young hairdresser told me during work that a ghost lives in the mansion. The staff thinks that this is the former owner of the house. I wanted to say that I was the cousin of their ghost, but decided not to scare her.
I was born and live in Moscow. She graduated from Moscow State University, faculty of foreign languages, and teach English at a university. In addition, I am engaged in literary translation.
Modern people have completely misconceptions about the aristocracy. People think that this is the same as the new Russians, but in fact the nobles very strictly raised their children. Grandfather told his mother: "Aristocratic origin does not give absolutely any privileges, but imposes huge obligations." The same mother told me.
About Nikolai Andreevich Rimsky-Korsakov, I know everything that any other person who is fond of music and Russian culture knows. When I was five years old, I really wanted to do singing, and I was taken to a music school. Then relatives jokingly said that musicality is in our blood.
Of course, I'm proud of such a relationship. Many ask me if I have anything to do with the great composer, and this is nice. Of the works of Rimsky-Korsakov I especially like the opera Servilia, the First Symphony and Squirrel's theme from Tales of Tsar Saltan. A few years ago I graduated from the Ludwig van Beethoven School of Music with a flute class, and this year also a secondary school. Now I want to enter a theater university.
My ancestor is Mikhail Vasilyevich Uspensky, a full-time state adviser, professor of medicine, a famous doctor who founded the first clinic of an ear, throat, and nose in Moscow. In 1901, he was granted noble dignity for his services to the fatherland.
Paternal great-grandfather Mikhail Mikhailovich Uspensky was an honored artist of the RSFSR and chief artist of the State Historical Museum. The fate of my great-grandfather is connected with the main shrine of the Zvenigorod land. In the 1920s, he, then a member of the Commission for the Protection of Cultural Monuments in the Moscow Region, was called to the Lubyanka. An employee who called it, pointing to a dish covered with matter, said: "... Take this dish and transfer it to the museum, and put the remains of Savva Storozhevsky on the dish, where you think it is necessary." By the tone of this man, his great-grandfather understood that he was advised to hide the relics in a safe place. He kept them for many years. In 1984, the relics were transferred to a priest, who advised my great-grandfather before his death. Later, they were stored in the Moscow Holy Danilov Monastery, and in the year of the 600th anniversary of the Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery, on August 22, 1998, they were returned to Zvenigorod.
I really like Zvenigorod, I even bought an apartment there. But I live in Moscow, work as a web designer, and I also support the site of the Russian noble assembly.
My dad, Mikhail Mikhailovich Uspensky, was originally a member of the Russian Nobility Assembly (RDS). He met people there who helped him gain access to archival documents. According to the rules, together with a representative of a noble family, who confirmed this documented, his wife and children are automatically accepted in the RDS. At first I did not understand all this. Of course, I knew who my ancestors were, and was proud of them. But then I was asked to help with the RDS website, began to post materials and got involved.
In addition to membership in the RDS, his father was the editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Noble Herald”, as well as a knight of the Imperial Order of St. Anne.
We cherish everything related to our ancestors. We have preserved various pre-revolutionary photographs, as well as birth and marriage certificates, and the original document on the award of noble dignity.
Our family is not too ancient, which does not detract from the merits of my ancestors. Of course, I want to pass something from them to my children, but I do not set myself the goal, for example, that my husband be a nobleman. It always helps me: remembering who my ancestors were and what they experienced, it is easier for me to gather my courage to do something.
I always try to be careful in conversations about noble origin and aristocratic roots. And first of all, I am proud of what my ancestors were, and not by whom. I remember once my mother replaced one of my acquaintances, who did not exaggerate her descent “not from cattle, but from pillar nobles”: “Young man, I advise you to be more restrained: there is always a chance that you are in the presence of people, from a height of whose origin the difference between you and cattle is vanishingly small. "
If we mean by the word "aristocrat" its vocabulary meaning - a representative of the clan nobility - then I will name the paternal ancestors. They come from the Baratov family - princes of Georgian origin, who served the Russian throne from the end of the 18th century. They happened to participate in almost all the wars that the Romanov empire waged in the century before last.
The main family pride and legend is the military general of the First World War, Prince Nikolai Nikolayevich Baratov, the hero of the Caucasian Front. He is my great-great-grandfather’s cousin.
He commanded the first Caucasian Cossack division, a separate expeditionary force, successfully fighting in Turkey and Iran, saving the Armenians from the Turkish massacre. And after the revolution, which was not accepted by General Baratov, he managed with the least losses to organize the evacuation of his corps from the country where he himself became an enemy of the people overnight. He participated in the White Movement, was seriously injured during the assassination attempt by the Bolsheviks in Tiflis, and lost his leg.
For General Baratov, life in exile was a continuation of the service. In Paris, he organized international assistance to immigrants with disabilities, became chairman of the Foreign Union of Russian military invalids. He was also the soul of any society, had an excellent sense of humor, danced beautifully at grand balls, conquered the first beauties of the European elite, was able to attract the highest European aristocracy and statesmen to the cause of supporting Russian soldiers with disabilities. No one knew that the general dashingly dancing a mazurka was moving on a prosthesis.
On the maternal side, family tradition has preserved the memory of another hero of the First World War. His name was Peter Petrovich Okorokov. He was one of those who participated in the defense of the Osovets fortress on the German front.
Naturally, in Soviet times, belonging to the clan was not advertised. The surname was not changed, the Baratovs remained the Baratovs. There was no serious prosecution, although skirmishes with the Soviet government periodically took place.
Then, when I entered the Faculty of History, some materials fell into my hands, gradually information was collected bit by bit. I continue to learn something now.
It seems to me that the Soviet government has so carefully and purposefully completed its work that the revival of the elite is now impossible.
My great-great-grandfather - Prince Vasily Vasilyevich Obolensky - was the vice-governor of the Governor-General of Prince Vladimir Andreevich Dolgoruk. My grandfather’s father Nikolai Vladimirovich Obolensky was arrested in 1937 and shot, and his mother, my great-grandmother, nee Gudovich, the great-granddaughter of General Field Marshal Gudovich, associate Alexander Vasilievich Suvorov and Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov, was also arrested and disappeared.
Many of Obolensky immigrated after 1917, and now most of the descendants live in France. But we maintain close ties and try to meet once a year. Our family is very large, and we all love each other very much. As the head of the clan Sergey Sergeyevich Obolensky always said, Obolensky is not a clan - it is a people.
To be born in such a family is a great responsibility. It seems to me that the main thing in real aristocrats is modesty, equal treatment of people of different classes, as well as the memory of their ancestors and the desire to use the inherent talents for the good of the Motherland. Parents accustomed us to the fact that the noble origin is not a gift, but a very big responsibility to themselves, their family, their homeland. Therefore, another important aristocratic duty is to be useful to society. Our traditions are still preserved. Every year we attend various events, balls in different countries, and do charity work.
There are five children in our family, I am the eldest. We love to travel. Every year we make a three-week trip by car. And each time such a trip has a theme: the great composers of one country or another, poets, writers. The purpose of such a trip is not to stay at a hotel or simply lie on the beach, but to study the culture of other countries, visit the maximum number of museums, climb glaciers or see places that are not accessible to every tourist.
Unfortunately, Margarita was not able to participate in photography.
As a child, I loved to look at family photo albums and pre-revolutionary postcards. I tried to understand at least simple phrases in letters in French. It surprised me why my great-grandfather, Sergei Nikolayevich Muromtsev, was approached "by your highness." But it was not customary in the family to talk about the past: Sergei Nikolaevich came under repression.
I became interested in the history of the country nine years after the animated film "Anastasia" about the adventures of the youngest daughter of Nicholas II. I wanted to figure out where in this story is true and where is a lie. And I started reading books about the Romanov dynasty, pre-revolutionary Russia. Fortunately, our class was monarchistically minded: they revered the royal family. Our history teacher was the late daughter of a White Guard officer. As a child, she played with Princess Anastasia. She talked a lot about pre-revolutionary Russia. When I was 14 years old, my parents decided to tell me about our ancestors - representatives of ancient noble families: Muromtsev, Sonina, Masyutina. Later, I met my relatives abroad, found like-minded people, and joined the "Union of Descendants of the Russian Nobility - Russian Nobility Assembly". My parents helped me in these matters, they were very positive, but they never participated in the life of the Assembly.
When I entered the Assembly, there were doubts: maybe I don’t need it. There were not enough documents, many were lost, and time: I went to college. I came to the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. She asked me to send a sign whether to join. And then I saw how the Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, the head of the Russian imperial house of the Romanovs, descended from the balcony, which I greatly respect. And I realized that I really need it. All documents were found.
Fortunately, our class was monarchistically tuned:revered royal family
Today I head the Assembly Youth Society. I work in a large Russian company.I am engaged in the European and Latin American ballroom dancing program. But most of all I like historical ballroom dancing, because every detail speaks in them. Two years ago, I auditioned for the debutantes of the Vienna Ball in Moscow, and then the Moscow Ball in Vienna.
Abroad, I always try to show by my own example that Russians are well educated, speak etiquette and foreign languages - I speak English, German, Italian, and I study French and Spanish.
In difficult moments, I remember how many trials my great-grandfathers fell to and how courageously they endured them. It becomes embarrassing to complain, forces appear to move on. When I make serious decisions, I ask myself how my ancestors would react to my actions.
I come from a noble family of Chernyavsky. My great-grandmother Iya Eduardovna Chernyavskaya, a graduate of a female gymnasium, after the revolution worked as a teacher in an orphanage in Moscow. Her older sisters, Elena and Lydia, graduates of the Institute of Noble Maidens, worked as sisters of mercy in the hospital. Their mother, Anastasia Andreyevna, baked pies for sale at home. Of the relics, we have preserved only a few volumes of Chekhov, which belonged to Anastasia Andreevna.
At seven, I went to gymnasium at the Noble Assembly, where I studied from first to fifth grade. The school year began on September 14, as before in Russia. There was such a warm atmosphere in this place that I drove back home in the morning. We had lessons in English and French, and I still remember the fairy tale "Teremok" in French. We studied etiquette, this subject was taught to us by the director of the gymnasium Margarita Alexandrovna. A real copper bell in the hand of the head teacher Svetlana Leonidovna called us for lessons and changes. She taught the lessons of singing and the "Law of God." After the second lesson at a big break, all the students of the gymnasium sat down to have breakfast at a common long table in the guest room, where in the corner there was a large electric samovar.
A real brass bell called for lessons and changes in the hand of the head teacher Svetlana Leonidovna. She taughtlessons of singing and the "Law of God"
Since childhood, I have been attending many events of the Meeting: Orthodox conversations, ballroom dancing lessons, music and literature salons, as well as annual balls. Here I met and for many years made friends with an excellent painting teacher Natalya Vladimirovna Lopukhina.
I tell almost no one about my origin, because today it is perceived as exotic.
I love to shoot old manors. They attract me with their history and the silence of the parks. I also restore old photographs. I would like to achieve a professional level in this, because during this work I feel how I restore bit by bit the evidence of the past.
I come from the noble family of the Olsufievs. Some of my ancestors went abroad after 1917. Our surname was not at the hearing - this saved us from repression. Teachers at school, and just educated people often asked if I’m the Olsufyev’s one of me. When he answered: “Of those,” this, of course, was embarrassing and intriguing. And after that I wanted to know more about the history of a kind.
For the first time, my father became interested in the past of our ancestors - he worked as a journalist at the Novosti news agency in New Delhi, was fond of history. In the 1970s, he began to search for pedigrees in the archives, and collected a whole folder of documents. But contact with relatives abroad was established only in the 1990s.
Among the memorable places in Russia are an old mansion on Povarskaya Street (now the Central House of Writers), a manor in the village of Ershovo, near Zvenigorod, as well as Olsufevsky Lane in Moscow, where the family manor used to be. Of course, I cannot help but regret that history has turned this way. Indeed, otherwise all this would not be in such a deplorable state, not in the wrong hands.
After school, I managed to get a grant for two years of study in the UK under the United World Colleges (UWC) program. Together with me, guys from 126 countries were selected. In many ways, I was lucky: before that, for several years in a row, mainly girls were selected from Russia, so there was a request for a boy and the selection was easier for me.
I liked the education system, lifestyle, values, opportunities. But I really missed my home, relatives. Despite many things that I don’t like in Russia, the same corruption, for example, it’s easier for me to find a common language with our people. After this program, I entered a university in Canada, but decided to return and live in Moscow. I didn’t want to replenish the million-strong army of emigrants to no one.
For more than ten years I worked as a volunteer in the UWC committee in Russia, and selected children from the regions of Russia. Many did not understand why I needed this. But during this time I met many interesting people. I believe that social service to society allows me to be closer to my ancestors, to live a more fulfilled life.
For several years I took part in the work of the international noble organization - CILANE, which regularly holds international cultural weekends in the European capitals with historical balls and excursions. I managed to visit six of them. Delegates are accommodated for free with aristocratic families. It is very pleasant that they are mainly very sincere people, with excellent education and excellent manners who honor their traditions. In Russia, much has been lost during the Soviet years. Noble youth in Moscow has several dozen active members. Once a month we gather to chat, go to the theater or to the museum. We try to attract new participants, but it turns out with difficulty. Someone has other interests, someone is not ready to spend time, money - to participate in the same balls you need a costume, payment of a fee, dance training.
graduate student of the Faculty of History, Moscow State Pedagogical University, assistant director
On the mother's side, I am a descendant of two Armenian princely families - Melik-Beglaryan and Hasan-Jalalyan. An interest in the history of my Transcaucasian ancestors was raised in me by a great-grandmother from the Hasan-Jalalyan clan. She watched the transmission of family traditions and orders.
Once in childhood, I accidentally stumbled upon an old box with all sorts of gizmos. My attention was drawn to a belt of coins woven together in chains. I asked my aunt what it was. It turned out to be a bride’s belt, an element of a traditional Armenian wedding costume. It is transmitted from generation to generation through the female line. He was put on for a wedding by my great-grandmother and then by my grandmother. By the way, an interesting story came out with the grandmother's wedding. My future grandfather was sent to serve in Tbilisi and assigned to a large old house where my grandmother's family lived. Soviet officer, a Red Army soldier in a princely house - it was something! Of course, he was very coldly received, they did not speak with him. But somehow the grandfather asked for permission to play the piano. When he played his beloved Beethoven, it made on my grandmother, still very young, the impression that she fell in love. So thanks to the occasion and Beethoven both my mother and her sister were born.
In a direct male line, I come from the Polish gentry family Polonsky. The house where my great-great-grandfather Leonid Aleksandrovich Polonsky lived was preserved in St. Petersburg. He was known as a journalist for Vestnik Evropy in the second half of the 19th century. It would be ridiculous to perceive this house as its possible property, because the history of the country cannot be rewritten.
While studying at the History Department of Moscow State Pedagogical University, he became interested in the genealogy and history of the royal and aristocratic families of Europe. On this basis, he met with many descendants of the noble families of Germany, France, Italy and Sweden. Last year, I managed to meet with the last king of Bulgaria, Simeon II, when he visited Moscow.
In Moscow, life is built so thatyou can quickly feel like an aristocrat, and worthlessness
Soon my friends come from Milan, from the Italian nobility, I will show them the city. My Polish cousin is married to the Austrian count Waldstein and leads an aristocratic lifestyle typical of her circle, often invites me to balls and receptions. I recently attended the Order of Malta Ball in Munich.
In Moscow, life is built in such a way that you can quickly feel like an aristocrat (at a social gathering, ball, meeting friends) and worthlessness (in public transport or government agencies). I decided for myself that in the second case you just need to speak the same language with people in order to more easily achieve your goal. But at the same time, of course, I try not to discredit the names of my ancestors.
I never thought about moving to another country. Russian emigrants of the first wave fled from the revolution and all their life regretted that they could not return, because they seemed to leave for a while. Today, nothing prevents us from living, working, doing what we want. The last twenty years, Russia has been in its infancy. We cannot jump into English democracy in one fell swoop. But much is in the hands of the Russians themselves. Which country we will live in tomorrow depends on ourselves.
MATERIAL PREPARATION: Elena Vereshchagina and Svetlana Lomova